TL;DR – A bit of a rocky episode, but that is to be expected when you are at your lowest point.
Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this episode.
Star Trek: Picard Review –
As far as we know, Thomas Fuller was the first to write the phrase ‘It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn’. As a theologian, he had a particular view on what he meant by that, and being written in 1650, I am not sure he ever would have thought about how those words would be translated in a cinematic context. But now more than ever, It is always darkest before the dawn.
So to set the scene, a while ago in the past, back when Captain Riker (Jonathan Frakes) was new to the USS Titan, he sat down [in another new uniform, I weep for the cosplayers] with his old mentor Admiral Picard (Patrick Stewart). Deanna (Marina Sirtis) had just given birth to their son Thaddeus, and they were celebrating. In the now, after deciding at the end of Disengage not to hand over Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers), the USS Titan-A dives into the nebula to avoid detection. Still, not even that may save them from the Shrike and her captain Vadic (Amanda Plummer). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show.
When you see an argument on television, there is usually an obvious right and wrong going on, and when they stray from that, it becomes a bit of a mess. This week we got an argument where both sides were angry, but you understood where everyone was coming from. I think it was fair for Picard to be mad that Beverly (Gates McFadden) hid that she had his child. All that potential time is lost because of a decision made but someone else on his behalf. But I also completely understood where Beverly was coming from, and the reality was that the son of Picard would have been a target … and probably has become one.
While there is one argument where we understand where both sides are coming from, there is another that I am still processing. When Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick) is badly injured, he passes the command to Captain Riker because, unfortunately [or fortunately as it plays out], he had confined his number one Seven (Jeri Ryan) to quarters. So we have Riker in command, and Picard is his number one, and it all falls apart. It was hard watching the two come to blows as they have fundamentally different views on dealing with Vadic. While I know they will come back from that, or I hope they will, it is hard to see it at this point. That being said, maybe in this final season, not everyone will make it out.
However, all of this is dancing around the part of the show that made me audibly gasp. As Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Worf’s (Michael Dorn) investigation continues, they capture Titus Rikka (Thomas Dekker), who might be behind the missing portal weapons. The only issue is Titus is not human. He is a changeling. When Jack punched the oddly staring ensign Foster (Chad Lindberg), and his face rippled, I let out an audible gasp, immediately understanding what was happening before we got our explanation. Much like last week’s prosthetics, the liquid changeling’s design is about halfway between where we have seen it before and its appearance in Star Trek: Discovery: Season 4.
I liked this reveal for two reasons. The first being that it got us to have Raffi and Worf perform a good cop/bad cop routine, and I loved every minute they were together. The second being that my head was instantly full of possibilities. Are those aliens on the Shrike masked or genetically altered Jem’Hadar? Is Vadic a changeling, and if they are, are they The Changeling? My mind was racing. We even got an Odo reference, I would never have had an Odo reference on my Picard Season 3 bingo card, but here we are. More than anything, I just liked that, for the first time in the new live-action, we are giving Deep Space Nine its due.
In the end, do we recommend Seventeen Seconds? Well. It was a hard episode to watch in places, and I think that argument will not sit well with people. However, that ending reveal was electric, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here. Well, I say that, but then I just saw the title name for next week’s episode, and maybe my thought that this was the dark before the dawn may have been premature.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Star Trek: Picard
Directed by – Jonathan Frakes
Written by – Jane Maggs & Cindy Appel
Created by – Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, Kirsten Beyer & Alex Kurtzman
Showrunner – Terry Matalas
Based on – Star Trek: The Next Generation created by Gene Roddenberry
Production/Distribution Companies – CBS Studios, Amazon Prime & Paramount+
Starring – Patrick Stewart, Jeri Ryan, Michelle Hurd, Ed Speleers, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden & Marina Sirtis with Todd Stashwick, Amanda Plummer, Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut, Thomas Dekker, and Allison Acosta, Stephanie Czajkowski, Joseph Lee, Chad Lindberg, Jin Maley, Tiffany Shepis, Amy Earhart & Grace Lee
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